Boat Racer Who Digitally Penetrated Crew Member In Crowded Taxi Van Free On Bail
CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A former powerboat racer who digitally penetrated a female crew member on St. Thomas “in the presence of several individuals while traveling in a taxi van” has been released from jail after posting $50,000 cash bail, as first reported in the Virgin Islands Daily News.
Hugh D. Fuller Jr., 67, of Boca Raton, was arrested April 10 and charged with first-degree rape, unlawful sexual contact, and assault, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.
Fuller was held in jail on $100,000 bond and appeared in court for advice-of-rights Monday, where Territorial Public Defender Alexia Furlow asked the judge to postpone his bail hearing.
He retained a private attorney, Treston Moore, who filed a motion Tuesday to modify Fuller’s bail and conditions of release, and asked that he be allowed to post 10 percent cash, or $10,000, as surety.
On Wednesday, Moore asked that bail be reduced to $50,000 cash, and said Fuller’s son “arrived on island last night with that bank check in hand,” according to an amended motion.
Magistrate Judge Henry Carr III signed an order Wednesday that allowed Fuller to be released from jail, but said he must remain on St. Thomas while he awaits trial.
Fuller may not return to Florida and is not allowed to board his vessel, “Just Enough,” a 141-foot superyacht that’s currently docked in Yacht Haven Grande marina. Carr wrote that Fuller is also not allowed to enter Yacht Haven Grande, and will stay at Limetree Beach Resort under the supervision of a third-party custodian.
Fuller is accused of assaulting one of his yacht’s six crew members in a taxi, and two witnesses who were also in the vehicle provided statements to police.
The victim said that on April 9, Fuller and the crew took a taxi to Red Hook and, “while at dinner, the defendant made several creepy comments to include ‘you look good out of uniform’ which made her very uncomfortable,” according to a sworn affidavit filed by the VIPD.
Later that evening, Fuller “approached her and placed both of his hands on her thighs and stated that ‘I do not usually do this with crew members,’” and the victim said he appeared to be drunk and was slurring his words, according to the affidavit.
During the taxi ride back to Yacht Haven Grande, the victim said Fuller started putting his arm around her, and “became very aggressive, by grabbing her head and kissing her forcefully for about 20 seconds,” according to the affidavit. The victim said she tried to pull away, but Fuller overpowered her.
The victim said as soon as he let go, “she told him ‘Stop, this is not professional, this should not be happening,’” and Fuller replied, “You know you want this,” according to the affidavit. The victim said Fuller forcefully kissed her again, grabbed her breast and forced his hand between her legs.
Fuller sexually assaulted her, licked his finger, and said “You taste good,” according to the affidavit.
As soon as the taxi arrived at Yacht Haven Grande, the victim said she got out and went to the crew quarters.
Police interviewed the yacht’s bosun, the officer in charge of the crew, who corroborated the victim’s statements.
The bosun said that he was in the taxi when he saw Fuller kissing the victim, and once back at Yacht Haven Grande, the victim told him what had happened and he “offered her an ear and a hug.”
Police also interviewed a witness who was sitting behind Fuller and the victim in the taxi, and said “she overheard the victim tell the defendant to ‘stop, we need to keep this professional.’ She also stated she observed the defendant grabbing the victim’s head and forcibly kissing her.”
The witness told police “that was all she could see from where she was seated.”
Police contacted attorney Anna Scott and explained what they’d learned from the interviews, and “Attorney Scott advised the detectives that an arrest should be made,” according to the affidavit.
Police said they arrested Fuller, who declined to make a statement and requested an attorney.
By SUZANNE CARLSON/The Virgin Islands Daily News